I think whenever I have spoken to someone about food the dreaded words always get said ‘I don’t know what to have for dinner.’ To be fair planning 7 meals a week is no easy feat especially when you’d rather not have the same thing over and over again.
I thought I’d collate some of my favourite main meal recipes (especially over the past couple of weeks) so you can spice up your weekly meal plan with something new.
So if you’re looking for a new soup, some filling main meals or some ways to update your pasta then keep reading!
The perfect time to make soup has come around. Varying in difficulty you can do something extremely simple, like throwing some veg in the oven and blending it or you could go for something slightly more difficult by boiling some stock and throwing in a pile of veg and some lentils to create the perfect winter warmer.
Soup may seem like a lunch option but if you pair it with toasties then you’ve got a quick and hearty meal (which can also be frozen).
I know a lot of people get put off soup because it can become very repetitive so that is why I am giving you options!
Why not try this Roasted Sweet Potato and Curry Soup from BBC Good Food.
This Spiced Carrot Lentil Soup has become a firm favourite in our flat (as seen in the photo)
Classic Lentil Soup. (I don’t use the swede)
If you want to try something different (and slightly more challenging) then why not check out my recipe for ramen.
An Extremely Easy Roasted Red Pepper and Tomato Soup.
- use a bag of large tomatoes and around 5 red peppers, squish two cloves of garlic (with the skins on) and place all of this in a roasting tin with some thyme and olive oil. Roast in the over for 25-30 minutes at 200 degrees.
- once the veg is soft and caramelised place it into a large pan. Squeeze the soft garlic from the roasting tin into the pan and if you are using fresh thyme, take out the stalks.
- Add about a tablespoon of red wine vinegar (white wine vinegar would work too). Then add a tin of chopped tomatoes to increase the tomato flavour and the thickness of the soup.
- Blend the soup with a hand blender and add around 150ml of water until it is your desired thickness.
- Reheat to serve and season to taste.
Peanut Butter Chicken
I never thought I would be putting Peanut Butter as a heading for a food post, mostly because I have never been someone who enjoys using it. Or shall I say, I do not use it in the conventional manner (i.e as a spread).
However, peanut butter has niggled its way into several of our firm favourite dishes, mostly because it tastes delicious on chicken when mixed with garlic, honey and soy.
As pictured (on the left or above if you are on a mobile device) I recently made this peanut chicken rainbow rice. Which I am not going to lie was a pain to plate up but was surprisingly tasty. I swapped the aubergine for steamed broccoli and used frozen sweetcorn. It seemed to be a hit with everyone and was nice and filling. Check the recipe out here.
Another firm favourite using the beloved peanut butter is this Gnarly Peanut Butter Chicken (pictured above) which we’ve repeated countless times in our flat. Packed with flavour and extremely filling there is nothing wrong with this delicious meal! Find the recipe here. We serve it with mash and broccoli but feel free to serve it with noodles etc.
Pasta has always been a meal that is incredibly easy to knock up when you’re struggling for ideas. I mean there are countless combinations that you can use.
Perfect for a family dinner, a date night or a dinner party, pasta covers almost every evening.
I am a big fan of Jessica Elliot Dennison’s Tin Can Magic and this fabulous recipe features in it. The Butter Sugo is filled with, you guessed it, plenty of butter and a rich tomato flavour. Jess has been incredibly nice by including the recipe on her website so now all you lovely people can go make this pasta and see for yourself how incredibly tasty it is. Check out the recipe (as pictured) here. [I use Parmesan rather than the mentioned cheese, Jess does include substitutes for all her recipes so make sure to have a look at those].
If you’re not a fan of tomato based pasta but want something just as rich and flavoursome then have a look at this Pasta al Limone recipe. I’ve been making this for over a year now and it has become a staple in my pasta ‘repertoire’. I’ve mentioned it in a previous Food blog post so if you didn’t try it then, now is your chance. It is creamy, rich and packed with a nice lemon flavour, what is not to love?
Now if you are looking for a pasta recipe that’s going to feed a family and be extra filling then this versatile tuna pasta bake is perfect for you. We always use this recipe for the groundworks of our dish however feel free to experiment. We often add in broccoli and you can also interchange the tuna for chicken or bacon. It is super easy and extremely tasty.
Now I don’t think anything says Autumn/Winter more than a cottage pie. Filled with layers of mince, veg and cheesy mash, to me there is nothing more comforting that a nice plate of cottage pie with some peas.
The cottage pie pictured was based off of this recipe, I highly recommend sticking to the cheese, it makes the mash incredibly creamy and gives the topping a nice crispy layer. The pictured pie was made by my sister and she didn’t have Worcestershire sauce so we replaced it with soy sauce (which tasted great), she also didn’t add the red wine and added in some Italian seasoning.
On the other hand if you are looking for a vegan option, BBC Good Food have a Vegan Shepherd’s pie.
Now if you are still struggling for some inspiration or this post unfortunately didn’t cover everything you wanted, please check out the food section of my website. I cover cookbooks, weekly meal plans (and what we ate for a week) and a post filled with my all time favourite recipes. If you can’t find something in there then I don’t know what else I can do!
Nevertheless, if you have hit a wall with cooking then the best thing to do is to take a step back. Challenge yourself or go seek some inspiration via a magazine, a blog (hint hint) or go to a restaurant. Taking the pressure off might just reignite your love for being in the kitchen.
Or, if in doubt, whack a potato (or a sweet potato) in the oven and you’re sorted.
Are you planning eating from one of these recipes? Would you make my tomato soup?
Let me know below!